Knife attack in Australia | Assailant appears to have targeted women, police say

(Sydney) Australian police said Monday they were investigating why the attacker appeared to have prioritized women in a stabbing attack that left six dead and several injured Saturday in a Sydney shopping center.

Five of the six victims killed by Joel Cauchi, a 40-year-old mentally ill man, are women, as are most of those injured.

“The videos speak for themselves, don’t they, and it is certainly a lead in the investigation for us,” noted Karen Webb, Commissioner of Police of New South Wales.

“It is obvious to me, and to the investigators, that this is a point of interest: the attacker focused on women and avoided men,” she told the television station national ABC.

Videos posted on social media show the attacker, of no fixed address, chasing mainly women during his attack on the crowded Westfield shopping center in Bondi Junction on Saturday.

Butme Webb stressed that police could not know what was going through the assailant’s head.

“That’s why it’s important that investigators spend time interviewing those who know him.”

Joel Cauchi’s Facebook profile indicates that he is from Toowoomba, near Brisbane (east), and that he attended high school and university in the area.

His parents said he had suffered from mental illness since he was a teenager.

The last of the six victims of this attack was identified on Monday as Yixuan Cheng, a young Chinese student at the University of Sydney.

The other women killed were a fashion designer, a volunteer surf lifesaver, the daughter of an entrepreneur and a young mother whose critically injured nine-month-old baby is in hospital.

The mother, Ashlee Good, 38, left her bleeding baby daughter in the care of strangers before being rushed to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

The only man who was killed was Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old Pakistani who worked as a security guard.

Eight people injured in the attack remain hospitalized, some in critical condition.

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